June 30th, 2007



Am watching a 70s-era BBC adaptation of Anna Karenina, because it has my woobie Eric Porter as Karenin. Do not ask me to explain this Eric Porter mania because it is in explicable. It simply is. (The voice. It's the voice.) Anyway. Amazingly talky screenplay, written by Donald Wilson, who also wrote the good Forsyte adaptation, the BBC 1967 version.

This adaptation suffers from not having somebody with the gorgeousness quotient of Nyree Dawn Porter in the central role. I am out of sympathy with it in general, because I was out of sympathy with the novel when I read it. Why, I asked, are we wasting all this time with this tedious virtuous farmer dude and his tedious philosophy? How about some more adultery? Or maybe something could blow up! Er. Okay, maybe not that last. It's also possible that I was a lot younger when I read it.

The Russian novelists, they baffle me. I complained to my husband that one of my problems reading The Idiot was that I had no idea how to parse the behavior of the characters. What was shocking behavior? What was normal behavior? What were the expectations of the culture? I needed a reading guide.
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